CNN Wonders If Ferguson Prosecutor Should 'Overrule the Grand Jury'

Matthew Balan | November 25, 2014
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[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]

Two CNN anchors channeled the supporters of Michael Brown's family on the 25 November 2014 edition of Early Start, as they played up how St. Louis County, Missouri Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch presented the Brown case to a grand jury, instead of pursuing charges himself. Chris Cuomo, reporting live from Ferguson, asserted that "the grand jury itself is a dinosaur," and pointed out that "the prosecutor could still bring charges even after the grand jury."

Cuomo added that "one of the major complaints from sober minds here in Ferguson was that...if this prosecutor wanted to bring a case, he would just have brought it himself – that this was punting. You keep hearing the term 'punting' – to put this on a grand jury."

Early Start anchor Deborah Feyerick then forwarded her colleague's point during the following segment with Eric Zahnd, a prosecuting attorney from a neighboring country in the Show Me State:

DEBORAH FEYERICK: ...[W]e heard Chris Cuomo saying that basically, the prosecutor could have brought charges independently – that, in fact, by using a grand jury, he punted. Now, the D.A. has an ethical obligation to only bring those cases in which he thinks he can get a conviction. Could the prosecutor right now – say, basically, overrule the grand jury and say, charges should be filed – whether they be first-degree, second-degree, voluntary/involuntary manslaughter?

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